Just in time for the holiday season, the Pew Charitable Trust has released its latest study of what people find meaningful in their lives. More people said relationships, although not romantic ones, made their lives more meaningful. More people yearned for a deeper sense of community, not surprising after so much of community contact was reduced during the highpoint of the pandemic.
Surprisingly, older persons, meaning those of us who are 65 an over, were less likely to say that physical or mental health gave meaning, down from 30% in 2017 to 12% in 2017, the last time this “meaningfulness” survey was done. The other sharp drop was in the meaning that romantic relationships or spouses, down from 20% to 11%.
So what do these numbers mean? It may mean we have a real disconnect between ourselves and intimate relationships but depend more on community life to give us meaning. The results of this survey should be looked at in conjunction with the one Pew conducted on religion last year. What’s missing in “meaning” is the relationship with God. Isn’t this where real meaning should be found?
Prayer for the Day
As we come to the end of November, we look for the light of your revelation
For we will enter the Advent season which is a promise of hope;
Remembering your sovereignty over our seasons and our fears,
We anticipate the joy of the life to come among us.
Help us welcome the opportunity to erase habits which freeze our hearts
And teach us the joy of compassion and the warmth of love,
We ask this in the name of him who is love itself,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen
Thoughts for the Day
Ubuntu ... speaks of the very essence of being human. ... It is to say, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours." We belong in a bundle of life. We say, "A person is a person through other persons."
Desmond Tutu, Anglican archbishop South Africa
...we are each other's harvest: we are each other's business:
we are each other's magnitude and bond.
Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet (1917-2000)
O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For the Lord is our Lord and we are the people of God’s pasture,
the sheep of God’s hand .
Psalm 95: 6-7